This time last month, I was in Atlanta, Georgia for the Young Leaders Conference (YLC) and the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW) Summer Convention. While the conferences served two different purposes--one was to equip me with tools to thrive in ministry, media, and the marketplace and the other was to build camaraderie within my faith--this blog post is not about the conferences. Instead, this blog post is to share how/why attending conferences (in general) can work well for your writing business.
In a nutshell, attending conferences allows you to meet new people and build your network. They are a great boost to your business because:
1. You Can Strengthen Your Elevator Pitch
Typically, conference attendees ask what your business is about and for you to tell them a little bit about yourself and what do you do? As a business owner, this is your practice to fill out the attendees...see if they're interested in what you have to say. It's like an elevator pitch competition. I have a couple of elevator pitches, and I try them out depending on how the conversation leads. For example, if I meet someone that says they've just written a book and need editing, I massage my pitch and gear it more toward my editing services. While I'm multi-passionate (most business owners are), I choose one thing to talk about and pitch myself according to the need of my conversation buddy. You can still be a copywriter, author, and publisher, even if you tailor your elevator pitch dependant upon the service needed. It may make you a more diverse business owner. Nobody wants to hear 57 titles at one time, people want to hear/know how you can help them specifically.
2. You Can Sample Your Book and/or Product
Even if you're not a vendor, which I believe is the ultimate way to sample your book or product or expose it to a new audience, it's wise to bring samples of your book or products to networking events (conferences) because you never know when you're going to meet someone who will need/want what you have. Ladies, take the biggest bag/purse that you can to fit your samples. Men, break out your fancy suitcases or man bags. You can tell people what you do until you're blue in the face, but it's totally different when you show them what you do or have done by showing them a sample of your work.
3. You Can Grow Your Business Over Time
Hopefully, it will lead to an exchange of business contact info or social media and a follow-up email. Then it will put a face to your service, so when people think of the service, your face and/or conversations will come to mind. I met a few people at some conferences in the past that I've worked it, and I believe it's because they enjoyed me as a person and trusted me to do the work. Never underestimate the power of human interaction.
Attending conferences with audiences that you are trying to get your work in front of is a good idea.
Let me know if these hacks help and if they're worth it to you.